Restart - A Steampunk Adventure

In the year 1814, The Empress, Maria Vasquez's, Senior Inventor, Kole Tasker, turned corrupt and fled from London. As he did so, he destroyed their security systems, leaving the ever-growing city undefended.
It is now 1856, and news has reached the Empress's ears that Kole is planning to destroy London, and use it as base for his latest invention, an inter-dimensional jumper.
Maria's daughter, Ariannya, or Anya, has been picked to find Kole and stop his plans. She is reluctant, preferring her aristocratic lifestyle.
Will Anya live to take her claim on the throne, or will she and London both go up in steam?

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4. The Dawn of a New Day

Sunlight filtered in through the half-closed laced curtains. Everything was lace in here. Occasionally it annoyed Anya, but most of the time she could put up with it. The thing that did set her in a bad mood, was knowing the servants had been in. She didn’t much like the idea of someone watching her sleep. It made her overly paranoid. Her dress from yesterday had been swept away, and a new set of clothes replaced it.

Anya pushed her covers back, and pushed open the lace curtains she’d pulled over her bed. There were two sets of curtains- lace, which she used in the summer, and silk, which she used during winter. Currently, she was using her lace ones, which allowed her a little look of what was going on in her general bedroom. She set her feet on the carpet, standing up and moving toward her dressing table. She quickly checked herself in the mirror, grumbling at the untidiness of her hair, before she turned to her new clothes.

The new top was black, and was more of a vest than anything. No more corsets for her. Anya let the grin slip onto her face. The trousers were a thin brown material, and fitted her perfectly, ending just above her knees. A pair of leather gloves that ended sat her wrist were slipped on next.  Above her few garments was a leather belt, and a few other straps which hung down her waist. As she slipped on the top, she found it left her shoulder blades exposed- perfect for spending time out in early through to mid summer. Anya pulled on her trousers, attaching the belt where needed. Everything fitted so well, and it was a welcome change from the normal, rigid attire.

Although, she was curious to the use of the sheaths, and what sort of weapon would be put inside them.

Anya shrugged it off, tugging on the boots which had been left beside the door. They went up her shins, laced at the front, and fitted snugly around her feet. She stood. No more fancy clothes for her. Anya walked forward, testing out her new shoes. After a few laps of her room, she opened the door, and moved into the hallway.

Eliza was waiting for her outside. She bowed, before speaking. “Mistress, your mother wishes to see you.”

Anya frowned. “This early?”

Her handmaid nodded, before walking toward the stairs. Anya followed, rather confused. The last time she’d had to see her mother at this time was when her father, Alvo, had died of pneumonia. They’d spent the day together, crying and laughing, telling tales to each other.

 

She entered the first parlour. Her mother was sitting in the chair, directly in front of the door, awaiting her arrival. Anya dipped her head. “Mother?”

Maria looked up. Her eyes had a red tinge to them. She’d obviously been crying. Anya felt guilt rise in her gut. “Anya. As you know, you have seven days, starting from today, to prepare for your journey. It could take you across seas, above mountains, and through plains, but you must prepare for all of this. I have organised an Airship to be prepared for your specifications. There will be a strict timetable of training over the next week. I may not be able to convince you to stay, but I can at least prepare you for what is about to come.” The Empress shut her eyes briefly. “Today, you shall be looking at the sort of ship you will be looking for. After that, you will meet your trainers- the guildmasters -before starting your first session, which happens to be combat.”

“Mother… You don’t have to do this. I’ll be fine.”

Maria watched her daughter sternly. “Anya. Your father said this to me. He told me everything would be fine, nothing bad would happen. And yet, he was still shot. He was still killed at point-blank range.” She stood, moving toward her daughter and pulling her into a hug. “I don’t want to lose you. Not like Avlo.”

She swallowed back tears, allowing herself to be pulled into the hug. Her father was a touchy subject, and her mother prefered not to speak of him. When she did, though, it was normally at a time of great importance. “Well I hope I’ll at least get breakfast first.” Anya could feel her mother smiling.

“Don’t worry, I had Anitra prepare something for you.” She pushed her daughter away, toward the door. “Now go on. I need you in a good state of mind for the rest of the day.”

Anya grinned. “Of course.” She turned away, speed-walking out of the room and down the corridor. Their ‘casual’ dining room was much less formal than their fancy one. She passed the pictures that decorated the walls, and entered the simple room. Not every single square metre of a palace had to be posh. A worn oak table dominated the room, with four chairs sitting around, one to each edge. The room had no windows, and was lit by a few lamps. Shadows flickered on the walls as the flames danced to the ever-present clicks, clanks and other machine noises. The whole city was riddled with odd little contraptions hidden underneath pavements.

Anya sat at the only layed place, and ate the food before her. It was bread, butter and a small wedge of cheese. To drink, she was given a small wooden cup of water. She smiled at the servant who brought this to her, and ate it as fast as she dared. Despite everything, Anya couldn’t help the growing excitement within her. It rose up like steam from somewhere deep inside her.

 

Once she had wolfed down the rest of her meal, she went back to the first Parlour. Her mother sat facing a man. Anya stood in the doorway for a while, listening intently to the conversation for a few moments, before joining in herself..

“So she needs a small airship?” The man had a high-pitched voice, rather peculiar for a man of his profession. Or at least, not what you’d expect.

Maria nodded. “Yes. Something light, fast, something meant to be used by one person.”

“What sort of material?” The question was quite obviously directed at her. Anya blushed as all attention in the room moved to her.

“What would you recommend?” Was all she could think of.

The man put his hand to his chin, stroking his short beard in thought. “You want something light, yet sturdy.” He thought for a few moments. “Perhaps the young princess would like Mahogany?”

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